I am really excited to spread the word about our new hire. Please say a huge hello and the warmest of welcomes to Stuart Smith our new Customer Services Manager.
So, why a new team manager?
To date we have had a very flat management structure at Kiravans - basically everyone reports to me. But it has been apparent for quite a while now that really this structure just makes me the bottleneck in decision making.
Whilst we only had 2 or 3 guys on full-time customer support it really hasn’t been a problem, but this year we have increased to 4, and another 2 are joining us in the next few weeks.
With a team of 6, someone needs to be in charge. We just cannot carry on without a customer service manager! As our business grows, and more and more orders and customers get in touch through live chat, email, phone and our social channels, it was apparent that we needed someone to take overall responsibility and to develop the team.
More countries, more languages, more stock, more customers: As a business, we have launched in 2 new countries and we’re about to invest in a load more stock - this will allow us to keep growing so that more and more people can build their dream campervan with our help. But it also means we will need more support. Overseas growth will inevitably result in plenty more multi language enquiries too, which simply take more time to handle.
More hours:, It’s no surprise that many of our customers are shopping with us over the weekend, so it’s essential that we can support this with weekend staffing. This will not only support our weekend shoppers if they need any advice, but also totally change how Monday feels...calmer! Stuart has a big job on his hands now to staff up for weekends, as well as the Spring and Summer seasons.
Peaks: We get three times the number of orders in Spring than we do in Winter! This means that we need a permanent support team that handles our all year round work load, but it is clear we need to boost our customer service staff in Spring and Summer to alleviate the pressure at certain times. This means recruitment and training of more staff - seasonal and part time, which Stuart is already getting his teeth into :) Fast support = happy customers: No secret here!
There are many reasons I’m excited that we have teamed up with Stuart...
- He has ‘been there and done that’ in a fast growing international company
- As always it’s super important to only employ people with ‘the right fit’ to join Team Kiravans - so that we can retain the close knit, personal feel of the business that we’re all so proud of...I've known him since I was 20, (which is quite a long time ago now!) and I trust him completely
- He's a worker rather than a 'manager'. Naturally inclined to roll his sleeves up and get his hands dirty which is so important in a business such as ours
- Stuart is a natural coach, which I believe is critical for ensuring our new support staff feel supported, and rapidly gain the knowledge they need to look after our customers properly.
- He has a great deal of experience helping team members develop their own career paths, something again which I have never had the time to put energy into, but that I recognise is very, very important
- Great tech knowledge after doing a masters in web design
- Oh, and did I say that Stuart lives in Germany...our fastest growing market!? We’ve already successfully mastered the ‘work from home’ thing, so it’s no surprise that he will be working via Basecamp, Wildix and Zoom...just like the rest of us do most days
All of these exciting changes and challenges means a fair amount of ‘managing’ and Stuart seemed the obvious choice to actually make it all happen.
These past few months have been difficult for lots of reasons, but I honestly think that our customer service team have done an amazing job in incredibly difficult circumstances. Now that we have Stuart on board, I hope that we will be better placed to support our amazing support staff...who then in turn support our amazing customers. Ensuring an even better kick off into 2021 and beyond and giving you as much support and confidence that you need, as you build your own amazing campervan conversion!
So there you have it! It’s a very important step forward for Kiravans and we’re lucky to have Stuart onboard.
Thanks for your ongoing support :)